British Swimming Responds To “Eye-Opening” Challenges Posed By Staging Of World Championships In June

ADam Peaty 2021 Europeans
Adam Peaty: Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

British Swimming has responded to FINA staging a global meet in June by underlining the physical and mental demands on athletes and coaches who now face an “eye-opening sequence” of three major meets in about eight weeks.

FINA announced on Monday it will stage an “extraordinary” World Championships in Budapest in June to make it four world titles in as many years through to 2025.

It follows the postponement of the Fukuoka worlds which were scheduled for May 2022 but which have now been pushed back to July 2023 because of the ongoing pandemic with the Doha edition switched to January 2024 to start Olympic year.

With Monday’s announcement, it means there will be a major global long-course meet in June 2022, July 2023, January 2024 and July 2025.

The showcase meet at the Duna Arena in the Hungarian capital will run from 18 June-3 July with the Commonwealth Games starting in Birmingham, England, on 29 July and running to 3 August.

The European Championships will then commence in Rome on 11 August and run through until the 18th of the month.

That works out at three major meets in the space of a couple of months.

It severely impacts the British team. Looking at Adam Peaty for example, can the Olympic champion claim – or attempt – a clean sweep of the 100br with three major meets in such a short timeframe?

Peaty has not been beaten over 100m since making his senior international debut at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow but matters outside his control place huge demands.

It is, of course, not only about Peaty but using the eight-time world champion as an example underlines how Monday’s announcement can potentially affect career and legacy.

Athlete welfare too is a huge consideration and Tim Jones, British Swimming Associate Performance Director, said:

“We acknowledge FINA’s latest update on the confirmation of a 2022 World Championships in Budapest, and our World Class Leadership Team is now assessing the performance, logistical and financial implications of this announcement.

“We have remarked before on the outstanding resilience and agility our athletes, coaches and staff have shown over the past two years, adapting to new and unexpected scenarios.

“However, we are also very mindful of the expectation and welfare challenges this now places on our athlete and staffing cohorts.

“We will be working with them to determine the best way forwards through this eye-opening sequence of top-level competition opportunities, not only between June and August of this season, but all the way through to 2025.”